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France 24 News

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Syria 14, Lebanon 10, Russia 5, U.s. 4, Hezbollah 4, Libya 3, Iraq 2, Beirut 2, Iran 2, Janine 2, Egypt 2, America 2, Algeria 2, France 2, Islam 2, U.n. 1, Anne 1, Alice 1, Baghdad 1, The Un 1,
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  PBS    France 24 News    News  News/Business. New.  

    August 16, 2013
    5:00 - 5:31pm PDT  

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>> a quick reminder from the main stories. cairo under curfew under another day of bloodshed. security forces again clash with protesters and supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi. deaths reported nationwide. the muslim brotherhood hearing another week of demonstrations. condemnations -- france and germany saying relations with the country should be reviewed. ready to fight in syria. hezbollah goes onto the attack after thursday's car bombing in beirut. in south africa, family members of the 34 miners killed by police a year ago have been honoring the dead. more news in 25 minutes' time.
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>> you are watching the world this week, the show where a panel of journalists discusses the international news stories. a reminder of who is with us tonight. we have someone from the herald tribune, reuters, vanity fair and "france 24's international affairs specialist. for the break, we discussed the ongoing bloodshed in egypt. let's move to lebanon where at least 24 were killed and 300 wounded in a car bomb attack in southern beirut. the blast ripped through a stronghold of hezbollah. it was the deadliest attack for years. comes a month after another attack killed 50 in the same district. it is being seen as further evidence that the war in syria is spilling across its western
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border. janine, is this a direct result of what is going on in syria? >> syria is in flames. and lebanon is there, so close. it is an hour-and-a-half drive between the root and damascus. also lebanon has a long runni ng history of being terrified of being plednto civ war becae th endured s much. there is a refugee crisis. all of this destabilizes the region and it does not help the exterior is basically divided along the lines of being supported by shias and sunnis in a proxy war. there is no way you can isolate anything that is happening in lebanon now and say it has nothing to do with what is going on in syria. >> lebanon's civil war ended 20
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years ago. is there aisk that this could bring it back again? >> the problem is -- obviously, it has a loto do with the situation in syria. and rising evidence that the solution of the civil war in syria is a very long way away, because at one stage everybody was morer lessopin everyonen t west wasoping th theebels would win on the ground. if you see what the rebels are doing and lebanon, maybe not so sure you want them to win on the ground. >> it is a difficult predict because it is an ongoing question since the beginning of the crisis in sryyria. while these kinds of incidents -- attacks -- are now more and more since the spring. the thing is, from what i've read, because i am not an expert of the region and have not been there, but from i understood is
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that what makes some experts think that there will not b a civil war and lebanon is that the politically responsible are not interested, know it would be a catastrophe to start fighting each other. that is one point. any other point that makes it very different from the civil war 20 years ago is that the regional powers around, the neighbors, are not interested in a war. at that time, during the civil war and lebanon, the powers were fighting each other on he ground in lebanon and using malicious. now nobody is interested in provoking a war. >> we heard from the hezbollah leader. he blamed radical sunni islam is. the worry is that hezbollah will have to retaliate. can they be seen not to be doing
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anything about this, the worst attack in beirut in years? >> it is hard to say that a group that uses violence will not again use violence to make a point. something will have to be done. these are not people who conducts diplomacy through reason and debating societies. it's -- almost nothing is predictable when you are talking about a combustion of religion and politics. the key word is religion. there is no logic that trumps faith. and some of these conflicts are profoundly faith-based. look howong it has taken to resolve the faith-based conflict between northern ireland and and its southern neighbors. it's one of the things that you see more and more now, and even when people try to study it,
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when historians try to lookt the causes of some of these conflicts, they themselves are criticized and almost thrown out the window because they have dared to question whether a religious war is a just war. gasoline that causes this. the >> what is really important is that the lebanese people do not want another complex. when i'm working thereone of the biggest fears of the spillover of the war in syria. and even t refugees coming over is that this is going to destabilize our country. we are just recovering from a brutal civil war that has left deep scars. we do not want another war. this is important because when you look at other civil wars in the past, you reall yhy had --lk at the former yugoslavia -- the people were not in protest as much is this.
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i think the lebanese people jus absolutely will not put up with anotheronflict. >> you mentioned the refugees. let's not underestimate that. some people say they could be as many as one million refugees. this is a country with a population of 4 million. >> 1.4 in the region, jordan and turkey. the border is very porous so it is easy for them to move. people are desperate in syria. thaey can't eat. the schooling has broken down. the society has broken down. many syrians have family in lebanon, so it is a natural thing for them to try to get there. the refugee crisis completely destabilizes the country in every way. >> ikn syria as in egypt, a weakness of u.s. and foreign policies means that other countries have stepped in, a
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nd other countries have a say about whether the west is -- while the west is debating whether chemical weapons are used. as if that is more important. >> exactly. the whole business about the red line is difficult to understand. as you say, we have the civil war raging and 100,000 people being killed. suddenly if there is evidence that chemical weapons have been used, it makes it worse? it what way? you should not use chemical weapons. again, you have u.n. investigator stepping in, and will try to come up with evidence that, go weapons have been used. but their job is not to say who use them. both sides argues each other is using them. both sides are denying the accusation. s. it's also obvious that the rebels have ceased some of it. -- seized some of it.
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it is a way for the u.s. to say that we have no political solution but we are doing something and there is a red line. and we will do something by saying that investigators will not do very much. >> it is well-established that the regime and the rebels have used chemical weapons. i think that was a big gift to the u.s., which made a blunder in drawing any lines anywhere. the red line is off the table, in part because both sides have been found to have used the weapons. you cannot punish one or the other. with the weapons inspectors going i if they find that the regime has control over the weapons, that is a big sigh of relief, too, because the big fear right now is that the assad regime will lose control of the comical weapons and it will get into the wrong hands. it is the uncertainty that is more worrying for the west, then
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the fact of the weapons being used by the regime. it's very down the rabbit hole. very alice in wonderland. >> what difference -- i keep flashing back to iraq. i was in baghdad at the time. did it do any good in the end? iraq was spun with lies. a different case. what if they do find concrete evidence? then the un.n.'s mandate is not to reprimand or disarm them. it is just report that. america does not have an appetite to launch into another war after iraq and afghanistan. it is finished. there is chronic fatigue. >> no money. >> i agree with anne. that this is a stopgap. we are not sending peacekeeping troops. diplomacy has all but failed. >> people are washing their hands. >> we will send an weapons
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inspectors. we have finally got the go- ahead. so we will do something. we may decide issues so we cannot back away from it. >> they can go wherever they want to go. their mission is going to be very monitored. until now, they can go to one site where rebels used weapons. they are not authorized to go to the site where the regime used the weapons. it is some kind of ridiculous. >> and is like holding summits. >> the anomaly during the summer is that there was this expectation about the big peace summit. it was announced by the russian and the u.s. it was supposed to be in july and august, and now nothing is happening. instead, we have inspectors going there and trying to find out -- >> we have not completely forgotten syria. we are doing things something,
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but it is such a useless effort. what will become of it? >> unlike egypt where you have two camps, if you do get to sit down in syria, whoare are the rebels now? we did a debate on what is happening in the -- to the kurds. there are 6000 jihadis. >> this is a civil war within the civil war. there is a big split between the so-called secular rebels and the more radical fundamentalists. it's culminated in a massive kidnapping crisis for reporters. it's now, -- it is so fractured within syria that commander to commander does not know who has control of what. it's very sad, because it is completely splintering. a war that is out of control. >> it started as an uprising.
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now it is a completely different animal. >> the reason now why the diplomatic solution is such a long way away is that in every social order, they want the rebels to win. if you bring the opposition to the table, who is going to talk and represent the opposition? they have nobody. they are also fighting each other. so it's very competent. probably the key is russia. if russia -- >> and iran. >> russia is the only power capable of asking assad to step back. >> they do not want to because they do not want islam on their borders. they go into the guys that it is the last bastion of christianity. they did not want the flow of two hottest -- jihadists crossing over into their borders. >> until recently, the u.s.,
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france and europe did not want iran to participate in a peace conference because their other negotiations going on. now they say there is a new president, maybe we might invite them to the conference that is not taking place. but iran is a key actor in the crisis. >> janine, you said you've been in syria a lot. i do not know how recently you have been there. we have seen that the rebels have captured -- they have them post -- have imposed law. i am wondering if the people do not want the rebels to win. >> i think they are so confused. you have cities like aleppo that are getting more and more radicalized. during wartime, people just want to survive and send their children to school, they want water and the roads to be open. i do not think -- there are extremely few people that want
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to live under sharia law. bit by bit, these towns are being taken. it is a very worrying prospect. >> how do you see this panning out? is the international community going to turn his back, or is there anything that can be done, or is russia or iran the key? >> i have no idea. the international community has already turned it back -- it's a bomb that everybody is backing away from, doing what they can to defuse the part that they can see, but not getting close enough to get burned. i have no solutions. maybe russia can provide the answer. maybe iran will be part of it. i cannot see the americans involved. i think this is going to be another situation where the international community is going to hope against hope that it resolves itself, but that's probably a vain hope. the people do not have enough to be. you cannot grow food. >> 100,000 people dead.
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going into its third year. it's something that everyone thought would go away and would defuse, but it has not been and is not going to. there will be a bloody climax, and then in -- someone will have to take action of some sort. >> let's leave syria and move on to our final topic this week. mali has a new president. won a landslide in the first election in mali in six years. officials say the new president 177% of the vote. this was also the first election since a coup in the capital. a takeover that divided the nation and intervention by the french army. earlier this year. more than 12,000 peacekeepers remain. let's take a listen to what people of the streets of the capital had to say about their new president.
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>> the malian people elected him, and given the results of this election, we can only encourage him and everyone must help them. it seems to be very difficult. >> it's the continuity for me. he's been part of the democratic process for 20 years. so if people say there will be a change, we will have to wait and see. the country is corrupt, so he needs to fight against this and he should not expect everyone to work alongside his ideals. we must have an opposition, a true, strong opposition who is there to watch what he does. >> to say that he has a lot of challenges ahead is a bit of an understatement. >> probably. i liked what this man said. it is the continuity. he was the prime minister, part of the regime. part of the bank of see of the regime, of total collapse of the
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regime. so i do not know if this man -- >> he was the former prime minister and the 1990's. >> i do not know if he is able to change something. this man seems to be skeptical. i am skeptical, also. >> that's -- >> he will probably provide some form of stability. but for the rest -- the thing is about money, now that the job was done. the islamists are away from the north of the county and the elections were held, i think that everybody unfortunately is going to forget mali. that's it. >> $4 billion in foreign it is going to help. >> it is going to help, but whose pockets is it going to line? he has a clean slate. he is popular. he won by 77%. all of the problems are still
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there. mali is corrupt, has an ailing economy and has to deal with northern separatists which are not going away. it is not a united country. a bit afford it might help but the problems are still there. he is part of that regime. ok, it is back to democracy on paper. >> do you think the french rest of the selection through? -- rushed this elections? >> elections is a way of proving we are on the road to reconciliation. there another point -- there is another point, and that is the refugees. there are 500,000 refugees in the north and this was a big issue with the voting. they did not get to vote. it is also a destabilizing force. what patrick said, the corruption is the primary concern.
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the fact the north -- this is not an issue that is going to go away. the french, it was almost a band-aid and it rushed in. and the issues are not resolved in mali. >> countries in this part of the world, they are very poor countries with a lot of problems and challenges. i mean, perhaps it was positive for them to have the french helped them. the french are very popular. >> it is not the french you have to resolve the issues. it's the malians. i hope just that -- i wish them good luck. and i think the french president -- >> they will wash their hands. >> the mission of the french was just to help kick out the islamists of the north to hold elections and that is it. now -- >> the hard part begins. >> the problems in the north are still there.
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even if the worst -- al qaeda fighters are gone -- you will still get suiciders. the problem is still there. you have people asking for their own state in the north. >> i had a guest on earlier and he is saying, no way. why would we give them a state? that issue has to be resolved. that was part of the aid package. you have to hold talks with the separatist within 60 days. last time he went to the north, people hurled rocks at his plane. he is not a popular guy. >> it is not over. it is reassuring. westerners do tend to take reassurance from the fact elections were held freely and fairly. the result, and the result to anybody who got that job was going to have a world problems to solve. we laughed when you suggested now everyone is going to forget. i have a feeling it is true until something goes up again. so, you know. we will probably be back here
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talking about it. we do tend to think, well, we can only put out so many fires at once. we, the international community. if mali has a democratically elected president who needs time, he's going to get that time. >> is this another part of the world the americans have taken their eye off the ball. we saw what happened in algeria. >> i do not know if it is fair. it is a french colony. it's within the sphere of france worrying about its own borders and security. i'm cynical about french motives of going in in the first place. >> do you think they should not have gone in? >> i do not think it was for great humanitarian efforts. it was for france doing something for france and for their own security, regional security. >> france recognized -- >> i do not think we should say america has taken its eye off.
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the human rights issue -- >> there was a branch of al qaeda. >> there are intelligent officers that are concerned about what is going on with the al qaeda cells in with any kind of covert activity going on. >> the state did not want to be involved directly and they asked the europeans to do the job, in this case the french. they are concerned about the condition. they have new military bases. >> i remember when the operation started in january. i remember everyone saying the french would be tied up there for years. it was in and out. job done. at least for the french, went very well. >> i think your assessment is not fair maybe. something needed to be done. everybody else was quite happy to let france do it. had they not stepped in, you would've had al qaeda back fighters taking control within days.
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nobody wanted to see that happen. >> where are the islamists now? south of libya? >> they have gone back to libya out where all of the weapons are. >> may be south of libya in algeria, probably. >> this is a huge region. it is very difficult for countries to keep an eye on. i think we're going to end things here. that was the world this week. time to thank all of my guests tonight. thank you very much. thanks to you for watching. francoise will be back on monday. more news and headlines to come on "france 24."
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welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. rescue workers in the central philippines say they've saved 600 people from a ferry that hit a cargo ship and sank. they say they're still searching for 100. officials say at least 17 people died. the thomas aquinas hit a ship off the island of cebu. they say the vessel sank in about ten minutes. coast guard officials say the ferry was on its way into port after a voyage from